GCSE_Website_Ant Banner Image_Ant Banner Image.png

Flash Talks

Flash talks are short presentations on a variety of topics designed to quickly engage the audience on a novel concept or idea. Speakers will present briefly, then answer attendees’ questions at the end. 

Priority Focus Areas/Topics:

Science and Diplomacy and Multilateral Mechanisms

Water and Resilience

Disproportionality and Policy

Climate Technology, Solutions, and Innovations

The U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

Tuesday, June 21
Flash talk Session 1, 12:30 PM EDT


Adaptive Capacity to Shift Absorptive Capacity: A Framework of Water Reallocation in Highly Modified Rivers

Resilience tends to be a general policymaking goal. In highly modified rivers, increasing the resilience of riverine ecosystems can however decrease that of other societally vital systems, including the electric system. This presentation provides a framework, focused on water reallocation governance, to guide the analysis of such resilience shifts.

Dr. Peter M. Rudberg | Researcher, GeoViable (Sweden)


Climate and Health: Modeling the Impacts of Air Pollution on Population Health Outcomes

This research leverages geospatial analytics and causal modeling to explore the connection between air pollution and population-level respiratory health outcomes. Our computational models can be applicable as decision support tools to help communities make better decisions about preventive programs and interventions, to build resilience plans for the future.

Nirupama Bhattacharya | Lead Data Scientist, MITRE (USA)


Climate and Resilience in Midwestern Food-Energy-Water Systems

Climate change poses great risks to food-energy-water systems. In the Midwest, changes in land use and management have been suggested to mitigate such risks. We will discuss how we expect climate change to influence these systems, and how policy and decision makers might intervene to increase sustainability and resilience.

Dr. Robyn Wilson | Professor, School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University (USA)

Elena Irwin | Professor, The Ohio State University (USA)

Kai Zhou | Professor, The Ohio State University (USA)

Allan Randall | Professor, The Ohio State University (USA)


Dallas Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP): Academic Stakeholders and Policy Makers Working Together

Dallas, Texas, a vibrant city that has always handled significant challenges with a collaborative approach and an indomitable spirit. We have looked to address the effects of climate change with a community-oriented and data-driven plan. The higher education institutions have played a fundamental role in connecting science and policy making.

Dr. Maria Boccalandro | Dean of Special Academic Programs, Dallas College (USA)

Susan Alvarez | Assistant Director, City of Dallas (USA)

Meghna Tare | Chief Sustainability Officer, University Of Texas - Arlington (USA)

Dr. Chris Dowdy | Vice-President of Academic Affairs, Paul Quinn College (USA)

Dr. Eva Szalkai Csaky | Executive Director of the Hunt Institute for Engineering & Humanity, South Methodist University (USA)


Keeping Clean Water Flowing

Water is at the foundation of all life. Climate change is stretching this resource to its limits. The water industry is losing operators of treatment facilities faster than they are being replaced. Community colleges play a vital role in training the next generation of operators to keep the waters flowing.

Robert Rak | Professor and Environmental Science and Technology Coordinator, Bristol Community College (USA)


Transformative Adaptation to Increase the Community Aqueducts Resilience in Puerto Rico Post-Disasters

Transformative adaptations in community aqueducts are key to reducing vulnerability to hazards such as hurricanes. The integration of renewable energy, the creation of community networks, and a multi-sectoral coalition are making community aqueducts a pocket of resilience in the mountainous area of Puerto Rico.

Victor Ruiz-Aviles | PhD Student, Arizona State University (USA)

Thursday, June 23
Flash talk Session 2, 12:30 PM EDT


A Story Needs to be Heard: Racialized Coastal Experiences during the Global Pandemic in Bangladesh

Despite society’s exposure to adverse climate impacts, little is known about the extent of vulnerability among ethnic minorities. Using case studies from Bangladesh, this study highlights the multidimensional nature of vulnerability among Rakhine minorities, which include increasing climatic stresses, neoliberal economic forces, and social and cultural perceptions and practices.

Dr. Saleh Ahmed | Assistant Professor, Boise State University (USA)


Driving the Clean Energy Future through Strategic Agricultural Subsidies

Federal agriculture conservation programs represent scalable opportunities to connect farmers with technologies that save soil, trap carbon, and promote social justice. Unfortunately, they can also invest in false technological solutions and perpetuate social inequalities. We will show how existing programs can leverage positive solutions to drive social-ecological progress.

Aaron Cohen | Senior Food System Manager, Farm Sanctuary (USA)

Sally Lee | Deputy Director of Rural Partnerships, Food Integrity Campaign (USA)

Donna Chavis | Founder of Red Tail Hawk Collective, Friends of the Earth (USA)

Human Well-Being Focused Transitions to Net-Zero Carbon Emissions

Caroline Zimm | Researcher, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria)

LEED for Heat Equity: Research and Case Studies


Extreme Climate Events: Relation Between Water Scarcity and Governance's Instability

Social and economic impacts of extreme climate events such as water shortage, droughts, and flooding have adverse outcomes in societies with huge inequalities due to incremental costs of life associated with them. These outcomes have been proposed as focus on upset and uprising, causing political instability and weakening in governance.

Alex Godoy-Faúndez | Director, Sustainability Research Center, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad del Desarrollo (Chile)

Diego Rivera | Research Associate, Sustainability Research Center, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad del Desarrollo (Chile)


Current climate scenarios used to inform policy making have limited ability to reflect concerns about the various dimensions of justice. We propose to conceptualize justice as wellbeing and the provisioning of decent living standards to overcome multidimensional poverty. This can be oprationalized in bottom-up in models to assess carbon requirements.


The LEED green building rating system inspires research and projects that promote targeted design interventions, cool roofs and walls, and green infrastructure that can substantially mitigate the heat island effect while also addressing historical inequities such as unequal energy burden, frontline community health, and food deserts.

Jesse Rosenbluth | Director of Business Development - Green Infrastructure, Omni Ecosystems (USA)

Dr. Ronnen Levinson | Staff Scientist, Heat Island Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (USA)

Sarah Schneider | Deputy Director, Cool Roof Rating Council (USA)

Karema Seliem | LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council (USA)


Business Youth for Engaged Sustainability to Achieve the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Sustainable development, i.e., “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” Three pillars of sustainability are “social, environmental, and economic,” referred as “people, planet, and profits.” Presentation presents business youth (“BY”) organizations’ efforts for (“4”) achieving the UNs SDGs proposing “BY4SD.”

Dr. George De Feis | Professor, Stockton University (USA)


SDGs in the Hospitality Industry: Some Financial Implications

Multiple-case study and statistical regression analyses are used to test that hotels with a longer history of activities directed to achieve SDGs are better protected to the adverse impact of different external shocks and show better financial and managerial performances over time as they strengthen their sustainable activities and outcomes.

Ana Aramburu | Junior, Researcher, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain)


The SDGs and the Wikipedia Ecosystem: Lots of Opportunities for the GCSE Community to Engage (Not confirmed)

The ecosystem around Wikipedia contributes to and is influenced by the Sustainable Development Goals in multiple ways, which this poster will outline. Some SDGs (e.g. 4/education & 17/partnerships) are prominent in Wikimedia activities, others (e.g. 1/poverty & 7/energy) less so. Given its popularity, Wikipedia provides ample opportunities for engagement around environmental decision-making.

Daniel Mietchen | Senior Researcher, Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (Germany)


Developing an Actionable Knowledge Framework Facilitating Broader Impacts and Societal Outcomes From Environmental Research

The overall goal for GCSE's Actionable Knowledge Framework is to create a replicable process of integrating technology and stakeholder perspectives through key communication and engagement strategies, leading more reliably to adoption and social action. For this proposal, this framework will be described and illustrated with two case studies.

Katalina Salas | PhD Candidate, University of Texas at El Paso (USA)


Heat Abatement Technology: a Rapid Solution to Reduce Energy Demand and Mitigate Climate Change

As climate change heats the planet, developing countries are adopting air conditioning, increasing energy demand by 35-40% by 2030. Since fossil fuels provide 90% of energy, this will increase emissions further. Advances in nanomaterials allow Heat Abatement Technology rapidlyapplied to any structure to reduce energy demand by up to 30%.

Alexander More | Member of the Board of Directors, Daniels Family Sustainable Energy Foundation (USA)


Technological Pathways for Carbon Sequestration

As many governments set ambitious targets for achieving carbon neutrality, a combined approach for reducing new emissions and increasing carbon sequestration—the capture and long-term storage of CO2—can help achieve these goals. This session will explore emerging carbon sequestration technologies and the opportunities and challenges in deploying them.

Amber Mace | Executive Director, California Council on Science and Technology (USA)

Holly Buck | Assistant Professor, University of Buffalo (USA)

Preston Jordan | Principal Scientific Engineering Associate, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA)

Gurav Sant | Professor, University of California, Los Angeles (USA)

Sally Benson | Professor, Stanford University (USA)

See the full agendas by day: